Can My Employer Make Me Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

non-disclosure agreement

Starting a new job or receiving a promotion is an exciting time. Often, this signifies a new chapter in your life. However, it’s not uncommon for your employer to ask you to sign a non-disclosure agreement before proceeding. When asked to sign an NDA, you may not know what your rights are, leaving you hesitant to sign the document. Keep reading to learn more and discover how a New York City employment agreement lawyer can help you review documents before signing them.

What Is a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

A non-disclosure agreement is a standard document in most fields. Generally, these documents require employees to refrain from exposing industry or trade secrets to help protect the interest of the business. Generally, NDAs are legally binding for a certain period, which can be negotiated.

For example, if a technology company allows an employee to take home a prototype to test out, and the employee shows it to a friend who works at a rival company, they can be found in breach of their agreement. This is because they spread confidential information about their company’s inventions to a competitor.

Similarly, if an employee leaves a company to work in the same industry, they would likely violate their NDA if they provide their new employer with a list of clients they took from their previous job.

Can I Refuse to Sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?

If you refuse to sign the agreement, you may lose out on the job. While you are within your right to refuse to sign an NDA, the company is also within its right to halt the process of hiring you.

Many think asking the employer to refrain from sharing confidential information is an easy way to get the job without signing an NDA. However, this is not always a reasonable idea, as your job responsibilities may center around the knowledge of confidential information, making it impossible for you to do the duties required for the position.

Can an Attorney Help Me?

If asked to sign an NDA, it is well within your right to request an attorney to review the document. While most non-disclosure agreements are perfectly appropriate business tools, some employers may take advantage of employees by using confusing or dense language to hide their true intentions.

For example, an employer may ask you to sign an agreement, only to find out afterward that the NDA prohibits you from accepting a job in that field for the rest of your life. Not only is this deceptive, but it can severely limit your job opportunities and livelihood.

At Mirza Law, we understand how these documents can be confusing. Our firm can help review the agreement before you sign to ensure you understand what you’re consenting to. If you wish to negotiate the terms of the NDA, we are also able to help ensure you receive a fair deal. Reach out today to discuss the details of your case with our dedicated legal team.